Health No blood – just sweat and tears – in future diabetes care?

No blood – just sweat and tears – in future diabetes care?

Imagine testing your glucose levels without a finger prick.

Managing complex conditions such as diabetes could be made cheaper and simpler with a copper film that can detect glucose from body fluids containing salt, such as sweat or tears.

Researchers at the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) predict the copper film could be integrated into a wearable sensor or a smartwatch

The smart device could provide continual glucose readings to the wearer, which could also be sent via wireless to their doctor.

Professor Yusuke Yamauchi, an ARC Future Fellow who joined ISEM from Japan’s National Institute of Materials Science, said glucose sensors based on copper have been intensively studied, owing to the material′s good conductivity, low cost, and superior performance.

The UOW researchers have demonstrated the first reported construction of copper with a sponge-like porous structure. .A key requirement for materials to be suitable for use as a sensor is high sensitivity, rapidly reacting to the presence of glucose in small amounts of liquid that also tend to evaporate quickly.

“The sponge-like structure greatly increases the surface area and therefore enhances the sensitivity required to trigger an electrochemical signal,” Professor Yamauchi said.

“The extraordinary sensing performance of the copper film is probably attributed to its intrinsically good reaction toward glucose oxidation.”

“This makes this copper film a good candidate for the direct detection of glucose to satisfy the requirements of diverse applications, such as diabetes management.”

You can read more about this research here. [Story credit University of Wollongong newsroom]

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